A skeletal hand is perched on red velvet. Fixed in position by surgical pins. The velvet is draped over a box large enough to fit a labrador.
John is stuck staring at it. He sits on seats edge, chest caved in beneath an arched back. He is tucking(more) his chin slightly, to hide in himself as he prepares the question. He is like a mother readying her favored child for their first day of school.
Elizabeth's economy apartment houses many oddities, but only the velvet draped box matters to John. The skeletal hand had moved a hands width to the right from its usual place since last week. It's presently causing John displeasure.
John can hear her hair dryer whirring. "She just started, he thinks to himself", "3 minutes" he whispers.
He sees himself scuttling over to the box, scuttling over and tossing off that velvet cover. He sees himself scuttling. He sees himself scuttling and he's doing it!
He is reaching out and taking hold of the skeletal hand. It feels cold. It feels like fear. It feels like...
Elizabeth is entering the room. She sees that bug of a man holding hands with him. She says calmly "John".
John wails out in a plaintive recognition of his sentence.
John clutches the hand dearly to his chest and retreats into the posture of a whipped mongrel, tail tucked, eyes averted.
"Weren't you told not to touch that?" Elizabeth asks with the air of a school marm speaking down to her pupil. "Weren't you told that looking is like touching and you're not allowed to touch it?"
Quickly and furtively a "sorry" is mumbled out.
"Put it back in it's place" she requires. "It was to the left" he replies.
She thinks she believes him, the fly in the jar.(less)
he sits in his wheelchair
in a small, cluttered apartment
with Marilyn and a velvet Elvis adorning the walls
the smell of cat lingering in the air
eating raw pre-packaged cookie dough with a spoon
every night we hear him through the walls
(more) playing his keyboard and singing terrible karaoke
telling the neighborhood children of his tall tales
because they're the only ones who listen